What keeps supply chain managers up at night?

Cost containment, talent and global issues among the top 13 issues

01/18/2012


The supply chain arena has become a quagmire of challenges. As the world has gotten smaller, the complexity of the global supply chain has become that much more multifaceted.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Global Supply Chain Institute recently hosted a group of senior executives (VPs of supply chain to CEOs) from 39 companies in its advisory board to talk about the supply chain issues that keep them up at night. The following 13 issues encompass a vast range of concerns about their supply chains:

  1. Cost containment: In the absence of economic growth and with inflation, how do we find creative ways to contain cost? (The normal/easy things already have been done.)

  2. The economy: How do we get through the volatile times ahead in the next one to five years?

  3. Retailing changes: How do we deal with the coming change in retailing as the presence of big box stores decline and smaller footprint stores become the trend? How should we redesign our supply chain to serve these stores, especially in urban areas?

  4. Supply chain and product design: How do supply chain professionals get involved early in product/process design?

  5. Talent: How do we find and develop the supply chain talent we need to integrate the three supply chain dimensions operating in most companies (information, product, and financial)?  How can people be prepared to run all three of these in a synchronized way? How can we prepare people to understand the broad disciplines of supply chain management?

  6. Global: How do we develop the competency of our organizations and associates to understand and navigate global issues?

  7. Supply base: How do we manage the supply base in a way that creates competitive advantage?

  8. Supply chain innovation: What's next (In the next few years, not in 20 years), especially in the area of sustainability?

  9. Compliance: How do we master the increasing complexity in regulations, environmental compliance, global regulations, etc.?

  10. Transportation: How do we deal with the aging driver pool that is causing a shortage of drivers yet at much higher costs?  (Also the impact of the CSA law-carrier safety administration.)

  11. SKU complexity: How do we manage in an environment of increasing SKU proliferation and complexity?

  12. SOP: How can we best create one integrated plan to align supply with demand?

  13. Supply chain security: How do we manage security risk from geo-political to terrorists threats?

Dittmann is the executive director of the Global Supply Chain Institute in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration. Dittmann joined the university after a 30-year career in industry.  He is a certified instructor for the Project Management Institute, offering seminars around the United States in the area of global project management and change management. He has taught numerous public seminars in the areas of lean manufacturing, global business, and supply chain excellence; he has spoken at over 30 conferences.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.